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Learn more about the Specialty Coffee
What is specialty coffee?
Specialty coffee is a coffee that has a special aroma due to its quality and geographical origin
The definition of specialty coffee comes from the non-profit organization Specialty Coffee Association (SCA). The coffee beans are checked for quality under strict guidelines that have been set by the SCA.
The SCA has current standards for water, green coffee, cupping and brewing. A point system was introduced in the standards, which enables the selection to be assessed. The physical check is carried out, among other things, by reading out defects. From a sensory point of view, the coffee is rated in so-called cupings (tastings) on a scale of up to 100 points.
"Specialty coffee is not the work of only one person in the lifecycle of a coffee bean; specialty can only occur when all of those involved in the coffee value chain work in harmony and maintain a keen focus on standards and excellence from start to finish. This is no easy accomplishment (...) . "
(SCA website)
What about the evaluation of the coffee?
In professional cupping, the coffee is rated by an exporter, importer or Q-grader according to the guidelines of the Specialty Coffee Association, following a predetermined one  Cupping shape  as template. According to the SCA, a coffee with a cupping score of 80 points or more is considered a specialty coffee. All the types of coffee offered by Fair-Roast are rated with at least 81 points. Here is an overview of the division.
<80 points: Below the specialty quality - no specialty. The coffee quality is ordinary. The coffee tastes less complex, not very lively and sometimes irregular due to existing defects. This product is mostly used as supermarket coffee in blends or as instant coffee.
80+ points: specialty coffee.
80 - 84.99 points: Very good - specialty. Very good - specialty. The coffee has special flavors. The aromas are finer, more balanced and the coffee has no serious defects. The types of coffee are from our coffee range  Bonabana , Giza and Mount Elgon   classify, the Cuppings are depending on the season between 81 to 83 points.
85 - 89.99 points: Excellent - specialty. These coffees taste a little more refined and elegant and have an extraordinary complexity and sweetness. Our first-class specialty coffees Ingagi (87), Dark Ethiopian (87), Mrs. Bunna (87) and Asante (88),all start with a cupping of at least 85 and can reach up to 88 depending on the season, as coffee beans in this peak Category do not occur that often and can vary greatly depending on the season, it can only be offered in limited numbers. When new deliveries from our roasters are delivered, we immediately inform all subscribers to our newsletter.
90-100 points: Excellent - specialty. This category is also referred to as a rarity in specialist circles, as less than 1% of the world's coffee belongs to this category. The flavors are even more nuanced and extraordinary compared to the low scored coffees. We are working hard to ensure that one of our partner roasters from the countries of origin makes it into this category in the near future. As soon as a roastery reaches this level, we will immediately add the type of coffee to our range.
You can read more information directly on the SCA website:
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